Living

Excerpt |Chuck Panozzo's "The Grand Illusion"

Growing up on the infamous South Side of Chicago with my twin brother John, I felt from an early age that somehow I didn't quite fit in. Subsequently, I spent most of my life looking for a place where I belonged. That search took me many places.

Early in my life, one of those places was the seminary. For a year, I spend my days ingesting the teachings of the Catholic faith, hoping that somewhere among the saints and apostles, I would find my place in the world. Needless to say, that didn't work out very well.

So again, I returned to my childhood neighborhood, and as I would continue to do thoughout my life, turned to music to give me a sense of belonging. During those moments when I would pick up my guitar, I could lose myself -- at least temporarily -- in a particularly intense riff, or an especially poignant lyric. It was good.

My love of music began early. My brother John and I formed our first band at the tender age of 12. A few years later, our neighborhood pal Dennis DeYoung heard us rehearsing through an open basement window, and we became a trio. After a few incarnations and a few more additions, including James Young and John Curulewski, we ultimately became the rock group Styx.

Over the next decade, Tommy Shaw joined our group and Styx went on to become one of the biggest rock bands around.

-- From The Grand Illusion: Love, Lies, and My Life With Styx, Chuck Panozzo with Michele Skettino (Amacom; $24.95).

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